Adviser Update Adviser Update Spring 2017 | Page 16

in shipping for school projects , which prepared me for time crunch situations in the workforce .
Overall , I loved my time on the Echo , and I wouldn ’ t trade it for the world .
Jenny Weis
CURRENT : communications director for the Alaska Program of Trout Unlimited , a nonprofit working to conserve wild salmon runs GRADUATED : 2006
The ability to put complex information , emotions or opinions into words suitable for sharing with the masses is priceless . The opportunity I had as a teenager to hone this skill while working in student media is something I value on a daily basis . Though I did not major in journalism in college , I gained an understanding of the basic functions of the newsroom in high school . This foundation freed me up to study other interests in college , but still pursue a career in communications .
Achieving protections for clean water and wild salmon runs requires educating the masses and motivating the public to speak up for their resources . In my job today , I pitch stories , ghost-write opinion articles , draft and edit press releases and use many other tools that I learned from working on the Echo to accomplish these goals . Aside from a solid grasp of writing mechanics , the two other critical skills of the writing process I gained and employ today include the ability to quickly capture readers ’ attention , and always asking myself , “ So what ?” to ensure that the information is delivered clearly , effectively and is tailored to my audience .
I could go on and on ! The strong writing skills I learned from Ms . Keekley and my classmates have been immensely useful throughout the early part of my career .
KT Lindemann
CURRENT : Digital communications specialist at the Office of Gov . Mark Dayton and Lt . Gov .
Tina Smith ( Minnesota ) GRADUATED : 2010
I oversee the web and social media presence of the office and create the majority of the content , including graphics , . gifs , photos , blog posts , web pages and more . I ’ m not exaggerating when I say it ’ s a dream job , and I have a student newspaper to thank for getting me here .
When people ask me how I got my start in communications and graphic design , I always mention the Echo . That ’ s where , as a teenager at a public high school , I was able to get my hands on industry-standard design tools and learn how to use them to communicate with my peers . I fell in love with typography and vector art and the the process of marrying information with visual intrigue to fill a space . I tinkered with Photoshop and InDesign late into the night , trying to fit together all the pieces of the print layout puzzle . I had the freedom to play and experiment and think creatively , but with an honest and knowledgeable adviser to help me recognize when something wasn ’ t working . Her words still ring in my head like a mantra : “ design , don ’ t decorate .”
As a staff , we were always encouraged to take cues from the big names in journalism and design . I remember flipping through books of awardwinning front page designs for inspiration , never once thinking that those stars were too high to reach . We were held to a standard beyond that of a high school paper , so we weren ’ t just a high school paper .
Every day , I use the lessons I learned during my time at The Echo to advance the priorities of the Governor ’ s office and inform Minnesotans about the issues that matter . The Echo taught me to manage my time with a fastapproaching deadline , a skill that comes in handy in the fast-paced world of government . I learned to collaborate , sometimes with folks who have different opinions and priorities , and to communicate my ideas clearly and assertively .
I can say with absolute confidence that The Echo kickstarted my career , and I certainly wouldn ’ t be on this path without it .
Andrea ( Bouchard ) Fraser
CURRENT : Has a small company in educational services in Hong Kong
The Echo forced me to take grammar , style , and conciseness seriously . Oh , the hours spent on ‘ late night ’ just trying to cut a few words ! I am now in Hong Kong ( for the past six years ) running my own small company in educational services . Those skills that I learned when I worked at the Echo are helpful because I use them on a daily basis in my communication with clients and in guiding students in their own writing from English literature papers to SAT / ACT essays to personal statements .